You are browsing the archive for 2013 July 16.

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Sen. Paul Appears on Fox's Your World with Guest Host Eric Bolling- 7/16/2013

July 16, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Paul Joins Senate Colleagues in Support of Military Justice Improvement Act

July 16, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul this morning joined Sens. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol to discuss the Military Justice Improvement Act, to combat sexual assault in the military. Below is video of Sen. Paul’s remarks:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL’S REMARKS

TRANSCRIPT:
I try not to look at issues from a partisan point of view. I’m sure I do sometimes, but I try not to. As a physician, I look at problems and try to find solutions.

I’m concerned about justice and I want it to occur in the military for victims as well as for those who are potentially accused. Justice is very important to me. Both justice for the accused and for the victim. I am concerned that victims of assault may be deterred from reporting assault if they have to report it to their boss.

I am also concerned about interposing too many lawyers into military life and having lawyers get in the way of the military mission. The vast majority of our soldiers are honorable and upstanding individuals. We’re talking about a very small percentage but if they commit crimes, they should be punished. In finding justice for victims, we must make sure that we have due process for all.

Some say we have no bipartisan cooperation around here. I disagree. I think this is a great example of how people from both sides come together to work on a problem and look honestly at what a problem is. So when I heard about this, my first impression was a positive one. As I looked at the bill, Senator Gillibrand came by to talk to me about it and I thought there were one or two things that were included in this that we should exclude. She was very open to the discussion and it makes my support even stronger for this.

There were a couple of things that were removed that weren’t sexual assault, that weren’t murder, these were disobeying orders and some other things and we said you know what we will keep that in the line of command. We want to keep serious crimes, murder, rape, sexual assault in here. And I think it’s made …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Fractional Reserve Banking Paper

July 16, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

You may have missed this paper by Bagus, Howden, and Block on Fractional Reserve Banking: Deposits, Loans, and Banking: Clarifying the Debate

Here is an online version of the working paper

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Flat Tax? Sales Tax? Value-Added Tax?

July 16, 2013 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

What type of tax reform do you want? Simplification of the existing progressive income tax system? A flat tax? A sales tax? A value-added tax?

Tax professionals, economists, elected officials and others heatedly debate the pros and cons of each. However, it is unlikely that real tax reform will occur until the financial crisis gets so bad that most people will agree to radical change.

Most tax reform discussions and debates lead with the premise that any new tax system has to raise roughly as much revenue as the present system. Why should that be? Currently, the federal government spends about 23 percent of gross domestic product, and state and local governments spend approximately another 15 percent net of federal transfers. In 1948, federal and state governments spent roughly half as much of GDP as they do today. A hundred years ago, total government spending was less than 9 percent of GDP, and most was at the local level. Evidence indicates that total government spending is at least twice as high as it should be to maximize job creation, economic growth and the general welfare.

Assume the United States has accumulated so much debt that bond buyers will no longer buy U.S. government bonds. Also assume that the present income tax structure has collapsed because of its size and complexity or that the Supreme Court returns to first principles and limits the federal government to doing only what is in the Constitution, leaving the rest to the states or the people (as specified by the 10th Amendment). Either way, the federal government might be forced to cut its real spending in half or more from today’s 23 percent of GDP to the 1948 level of 12 percent. Under such conditions, what type of tax system should be set up?

The Founding Fathers explicitly stated that the purpose of government was to protect person and property and ensure liberty. It was understood that government should do only those things the people could not do for themselves. In other words, the federal government provides for the common defense, the federal court system and not much else. One reason there is so much waste in government spending is because there is little relation between how the money is spent and how it is raised.

The gasoline tax is an ideal tax. There is almost a perfect correlation between the amount of road use and the tax. Bigger and more road-damaging vehicles and those who drive more …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Moroccan Model?

July 16, 2013 in Economics

By Dalibor Rohac

Dalibor Rohac

If the premise that all happy families are alike, whereas unhappy ones are each unhappy in their own way explains the world of Anna Karenina, then the reverse is certainly true for the Arab Spring countries. Throughout the region, economies are struggling with the same problems: the politically explosive issue of bloated subsidy programs, red tape, corruption, and policy uncertainty in the private sector and foreign sector development — with little consensus on the right way forward.

In such circumstances, finding examples worthy of emulation is of paramount importance.Cue Morocco, which former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has singled out as a “leader and model” for King Mohammed VI’s handling of the state’s political transition. In the words of Mohamed Tamaldou, president of the Network of Arab Liberals, “Morocco was one of the first Arab countries where opposition acceded to power through normal political procedures.” There are hopes that the country will be the first Arab nation to transition towards a European-style constitutional monarchy, with the King playing only a very limited role, yet providing a sense of political continuity in a region rife with instability.

Morocco has a chance to become a regional leader on economic reform. But it still has a way to go.”

More so than other (relatively) positive examples like Tunisia, Morocco has received attention for being “traditionally oriented to the West and [having] a long experience with a market economy, albeit often of the cronyist variety,” explains Nouh el-Harmouzi, a lecturer in economics at Ibn Tofail University and Morocco’s first “free market activist.”

In the 1990s, when Mohammed VI took the throne, the country saw various political and economic reforms. Many political prisoners were freed, state-owned companies were privatized, and the economy opened to foreign trade and investment. In 2012, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Morocco 66th worldwide, above both Jordan and Russia, in its “where-to-be-born” index, aggregating measures that are related to life satisfaction around the world. A 2013 ranking by the World Economic Forum, assessing of the competitiveness of economies around the world, classified Morocco as the best performer in North Africa and better than Slovakia, Montenegro, and Romania. 

The country’s economy has been growing steadily even in the aftermath of the Arab Spring with a growth rate of 4.9 percent in 2011 and 2.9 percent in 2012. Poverty rates in the country are fairly low and falling — from around …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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An Alex Jones Fairy Tale, Part the Second

July 16, 2013 in Blogs

By Political Zach Foster